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Land Dispute: Community Accuses Nigerian Army Flagrant Disregard Of Court Orders

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—Alleges Erecting Demarcation, Pillars On Part Disputed Land

Land owners in Kelebe – Omun, in Olorunda Local Government Area of Osun, have raised alarm over the alleged refusal of Ministry of Defence and its allies to comply with directives of a State High Court which prevented it form operation or taking any kind of action on the Kelebe land.

This is coming following the observations of the land owners that the Nigeria Army had started erecting demarcation pillars branded in army colour on the part of the disputed land.

According to the families, they noticed few days ago that despite the court order restraining the Ministry of Defence and its allies from having anything to do on the said land until it gives its final verdict, some pillars painted in army colour were mounted on the disputed land for demarcation.

An Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo, Osun State capital, had on March 11, 2021 instructed the Nigerian Army, Ministry of Defence and other parties, not to take any action on the land on Kelebe-Omu, pending when it would give its ruling.

The land owners had dragged the Nigerian Army, Ministry of Defence and others before the court, to seek justice over the land.

Speaking with Journalists after their monthly meeting held at Olugun family Hall , Osogbo, The Head of Olugun family, Mr Basiru Owolabi condemned the action of Nigeria army for allegedly refusing to comply with the directives of the court which had directed all parties involved to stay clear of the road pending the final verdict.

Owolabi who said that the Nigerian Army acquired the land in question, built military flats and leased part of it to farmers and developers said the case is adjourned for the final judgement.

He noted that despite the court order preventing the defendants from entering or doing anything on the land , they have it on good authority that the defendants have allegedly mounted demarcation pillars branded in army colour on the land.

It would be recalled that the plaintiffs Counsel U.F Muhammed had approached the court seeking an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Nigerian Army, Ministry of Defence, Post-Service House Housing Deve. LTD, Chief of Staff among others, from any further allocation , grant, lease , letting or license of any portion of the expanse of land situated between kelebe area to Omu stream, to any person pending the determination of the action.

The presiding Judge , Hon. Justice A.O Ayoola, upon reading and hearing the application of the plaintiffs had on March 11, 2021 ordered as follows:

“An order of accelerated hearing is hereby granted.”

“That 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th,5th, and 6th defendants, their servants, agent and or privies are prevented from any further allocation, grant, lease, letting or license of any portion of the expanse of land situate between kelebe area to Omu stream, to any person pending the determination of the action.”

“The defendants, their agents, and or privies are hereby restrained from any further constructions, felling of trees, dredging, excavation and devastation of the soil of land in dispute pending the determination of the action.”

Surveyor General had during the last sitting on November 3, 2021 presented Certified True Copy of dispute of the land before the court. The certified true copy was admitted as exhibit

The land, jointly owned by 45 families, had been in contention since year 2003 when the plaintiffs became aware of the defendants’s allocation of the land for private purpose, amount to continue trespass on plaintiffs’ land.

The families had claimed to be bonafide owners of the land, measuring approximately 3, 646 Acres, which is boarded by Ikirun, Iragbiji, Ilase and Osogbo respectfully.

He noted that their families’ quiet Possession of the land in dispute was undisturbed until sometimes in 1973 when the defendants invaded the land and allegedly destroyed crops on their family land.

The head of the Olugun family further explained that apart from the Nigerian Army, there was a rumour of purported acquisition of the land by Community for a proposed company.

He added that Nigeria Army had turned the land to profit making, alleging that despite the court order they have started erecting demarcation pillars on the part of the land.

They therefore, called on the authority concerned to come to their aid

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